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Old 01 April 2012, 14:00   #1
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Less information on Garmin charts?

Hello

I'm a tad disappointed in the quality of the UK mapping that comes supplied with my Garmin 451S; this seems to be a data issue rather than the chart plotter per se, as the data issues are there in Homeport too.

So I wondered if I was missing something here, or what others do to get around this.

For example, the attached two chart extracts show the same area on a (scanned in) Admiralty paper chart and the Garmin G2 vector chart (as viewed in Homeport).

To me, I can just see so much more information at a glance (in the same physical map/screen area) on the Admiralty chart than the Garmin one.

The biggest issue for me (from what I've noted so far) is that the Admiralty chart differentiates between the rocky and sandy areas (in green) on the edge of Newark Bay, whereas the corresponding green area on the Garmin chart does not so differentiate (even if fully zoomed in).

Also when you look at the island of Copinsay, I just find the Admiralty chart gives you all you need to know at a glance, whereas the Garmin chart only shows the jetty when you are fully zoomed in. It also doesn't show the very obvious track up to the lighthouse.

So my questions are:
1 - is this just an inherent limitation of these Garmin maps?
2 - are the G2 vision charts any better (in terms of charted data and/or the air photos0?
2 - is there a way to show the beach/sand areas in the "green" zones, or the jetty, without having to zoom in so much?
3 - can the Admiralty charts be imported to use as an overlay in Homeport or the chart plotter?

Of course it's great having all the tidal info etc embedded in the Garmin maps, but for me the first priority is the chart data.

Many thanks for your help

Best wishes

Steve
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Old 01 April 2012, 14:12   #2
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i thought the G2 charts were being phased out only the vision versions would be available now? sure someone will put me right
the G2 vision chart is good, i think the biggest benefit of the plotter is being able to use it at speed in an open rib when a paper chart would be next to useless. but for route planning etc, paper wins every time, and they feel better too
i believe you can get updates of garmin website now, just plug your card in and get your plastic out, maybe the update would solve your problem?
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Old 01 April 2012, 14:38   #3
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Hello Chris - thanks for that.

To help clarify, the extract is from the preloaded G2 UK and Ireland maps. My understanding is that the G2 Vision charts are the same, but what you get extra is aerial photography, fisheye view and the ability to do auto route planning.

But, like you, I hope someone with more experience can help.

Best wishes and thanks again

Steve
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Old 01 April 2012, 15:25   #4
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I've always found the Garmin digitised charts to show less info than a paper chart, with the exception of Lowrance which impressed me on a small early plotter of theirs. Re your Garmin, have you got the detail option set to max? You can control how much it shows at different zoom levels on all the plotters I've used and Homeport.
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Old 01 April 2012, 16:46   #5
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I've used Garmin charts for 11 years in all forms and always found them to be excellent, check you plotter settings, you will never want the same detail as a paper chart unless you had a 50" screen.
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Old 01 April 2012, 18:16   #6
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Did you not ask this question and be told Navionics were much better than garmin about a month ago?
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Old 03 April 2012, 07:16   #7
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Hello All

Many thanks for this.

Yes - the view detail is set to maximum, so it just seems that the way the Garmin chart has been digitised (or the data source) has not differentiated between rock and sand in the intertidal zone.

I understand the issue about screen size, but when looking at an individual bay, screen size is not a limitation on this sort of detail.

I was wondering if people had been able to import a georeferenced raster scan of the Admiralty charts (ie bought or scanned in and used as a separate layer) when such detail was missing? Can be done on PC systems, but curious to see if this has been achieved on a dedicated chart plotter.

Hi Bruce - yes it is true in that some people said Navionics, whereas other sources and private messages also felt Garmin was better. Plus the issue was made on hardware considerations too.

The difficulty is that until you see the charts side by side it's difficult to make a fully informed decision.
Curious to know if the Navionics charts do show the difference between sand and rock, as I've not seen that clarified anywhere?

Equally, there's lots that's good about the Garmin; I just find it surprising to omit showing the difference between rock and sand in the intertidal zone... But then for many users who don't do beach landings and only go to harbours/marinas, it won't be an issue.

But it is helpful information for the more adventurous of us, like Ribbers and Kayakers etc. Of course, the chart is only one bit of information you'd want, especially given how sand shifts around up here, but a good starting point all the same. A set of laminated hard copy chart extracts will be going with me anyway :o)

Best wishes and thanks again - and hopefully this thread helps any other users for whom this rock/sand would be an issue.

Steve
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Old 03 April 2012, 11:56   #8
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PS - just in case it helps to illustrate the point, this is a picture of Newark Bay taken today on the dog walk, illustrating the change from rocky shore to large beach, areas which the Garmin maps show as being all the same.

I may well take this up with Garmin, as it could potentially be an issue that only affects certain areas.

Cheers

Steve

Also shows our local slip in the foreground...
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Old 03 April 2012, 14:41   #9
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IMHO if you want to plan a voyage use a current paper and/or raster charts. Don't forget to check the Notices to Mariners (or whatever those updates are called in the UK). While underway to confirm your route and know where you are, that's when the GPS chartplotter is used.

The Navionics gold does not distinguish rock from sand either. Some of the modern cutting edge formats (platinum with embedded photos etc) may incorporate that information. I still wouldn't trust when rock changes to sand or vice versa to route planning, that's potentially way too dynamic anyway.
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Old 06 April 2012, 19:47   #10
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I still wouldn't trust when rock changes to sand or vice versa to route planning, that's potentially way too dynamic anyway.
Sand or rock, I find it best to avoid anything solid in route planning
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